Development Review

The District has engineers and professional staff with the technical expertise to perform reviews of proposed development at several different levels and under different programs.  These include:

  • Review of Design and Site Plans under Chapter 500 Stormwater Management Law
  • Consistency with local ordinances and design standards
  • Confirming hydrology calculations
  • Evaluating Site-Specific Plans
  • Compliance with Municipal Stormwater (MS4) provisions

Review of Proposed Designs under Chapter 500 Stormwater Site Law

Maine Chapter 500 describes stormwater standards for activities licensed under the State’s Stormwater Management Law and Site Location of Development Law.  These standards apply to projects that disturb one acre or more of land area.  Chapter 500 was designed to ensure that development and redevelopment projects meet or exceed appropriate standards to prevent and/or minimize the release of pollution to surface water or resource areas (and sometimes groundwater).  Compliance with the standards in Chapter 500 will also reduce impacts associated with increases and changes in flow between the existing conditions and the proposed post-construction (developed) condition.

More information about the Chapter 500 design, review, and approval process can be found on DEP’s website.

The District can perform Chapter 500 reviews to support municipalities with limited staff, or can do them on behalf of municipalities to ensure compliance with Chapter 500 standards.  Furthermore, the District has received Delegated Review Authority from Maine DEP to review and request approval under Chapter 500.  This is particularly important to developers who are under time constraints or trying to satisfy multiple community concerns.

For more information on Chapter 500 Stormwater Reviews, contact Troy Barry, District Engineer & Fluvial Geomorphologist.

Local Ordinances and Design Standards

The District can perform review of proposed development or redevelopment projects that do not require design to the level of Chapter 500, but to another (often equally rigorous) standard.  For these reviews, we clearly identify the standards and references that establish the basis of our review.

District staff can perform these inspections to support municipalities and contractors with limited staff, or can do them on behalf of municipalities and contractors to ensure compliance with conditions in permits and Planning Board approvals.

District staff can also help communities identify where their local ordinances could be strengthened and/or made consistent with those in neighboring communities. Our reviewers are also very familiar with municipal stormwater (MS4) requirements and can suggest locations where local documents are not consistent with the MS4 Permit.

For more information on development review to the level of local ordinances or standards, contact Robyn Saunders, District Program Director.

Confirming Hydrology and Hydraulic Calculations

The District has a fluvial geomorphologist on staff who can evaluate calculations included with a permit application or proposed design.  This includes results of a HydroCAD model for stormwater runoff, a model for the design of stormwater management systems, or the output from USEPA’s Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) dynamic rainfall–runoff–subsurface runoff simulation.

For these projects, District professionals would review the assumptions included in the model or simulation setup, review how the model was calibrated, evaluate the appropriateness of the design storm(s) for which the model was run, and identify any deficiencies from standard methodologies for the simulation utilized.

Hydrology and hydraulic calculation evaluations can be completed separately from or in conjunction with a site plan review.

For more information on hydrology and hydraulic calculation evaluations, contact Troy Barry, District Engineer & Fluvial Geomorphologist.

Evaluation of Site-Specific Plans

District staff can evaluate site-specific plans submitted in support of a proposed development.  These include:

  • Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plans
  • Construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs)
  • MS4 Facility SWPPPs
  • Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans

Good housekeeping and proper control of sites is an important way to prevent pollution and sediment from entering surface waters.

District engineers and professionals can evaluate whether a plan prepared as part of a permit application, contractual requirement, or in response to a local ordinance contains the required information and adequate detail.  We evaluate these plans from a variety of perspectives, including for communities that are permittees under the MS4 Permit and for projects that are subject to the Maine DEP Construction General Permit.

For more information on how the District can assist you in evaluating site-specific plans, contact Aubrey Strause, District Engineer & Stormwater Program Manager.

Municipal Stormwater Compliance (MS4) Reviews

The District supports the communities in the Greater Portland area that are permittees under the DEP’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit.  The MS4 Permit includes six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs), each of which may have a bearing on proposed local projects; in fact, these local provisions may be more stringent than the objective of designs under Chapter 500.

District professionals have a strong knowledge of the communities in Casco Bay and Saco Bay watersheds, knowing which ones have local standards that exceed the criteria in Chapter 500.  We can perform these reviews to ensure that a proposed design complies with a community’s MS4 provisions in addition to others that may apply.  District professionals can also ensure that required construction inspections, post-construction inspections, and documentation, have been integrated into the proposed design.

For more information on MS4 Compliance Reviews contact Jodie Keene, District Municipal Outreach Coordinator.